Dear Luijoe,

It’s been 21 years . 21 years today…


  • without seeing your impish smile,
  • without receiving wild flowers with a note “I love you so very much, mama”
  • without your gentle reminder to pray
  • without your lectures on parenting,
  • without your crazy jokes
  • without pinching your handsome cheeks

These are all vibrant memories now tucked in my heart, which I stitched back together.

Listen to the podcast:

Oh yes. The tears still stream down my cheeks just like today, because I miss you terribly. Love never died, even if you are gone from my embrace. Seventeen years ago, I felt the world swallowed me up. I thought I could not live with the unbearable, gut-wrenching pain in my heart. At times, I thought I went crazy. I barely survived. I had to find that courage to live because your two sisters and dad needed me. That difficult journey left me literally with a broken heart but not too broken, because why did God give me a second wind in life to make a difference in this mortal world?

Last night I asked your dad what would I be doing right now if you were still here. Definitely not a blogger. You know I only blogged because I wanted to comfort others in pain like me. This pain that will always be part of me for the rest of my life. Look, even VeePress thought my blog dedicated to you is worthy to be an ebook.

Come to think of it, I would probably still be a stay-at-home- mom until you leave home, like your two sisters did.

I wonder if you would still lecture me on “mom…it is like this..” You and your sisters were the best teachers on parenting that books could not deliver. I learned so much.

Today, I reflect on this new life, this new normal without you. From a zombie-like existence, I chose to live a meaningful life not for myself initially, but because I knew you would have wanted me to choose happiness over misery. This new normal is not anymore for you but for myself.

My new life is so much better. I should feel guilty because I would trade my life in an instant if I could have you back in my arms. But see, I love who I am now ever since you died 21  years ago. I don’t recognize my old self. Back then, my life purpose was to be just a doting mother to you and your two sisters, apathetic to what happened outside our cozy home. How could I ever imagine a life after a death of my precious child? Impossible, but I did. It must be true that you are here with me, your spiritual presence, and just standing by me , encouraging me to move on with my new normal.

Today, I give back this gratitude for the joy of this new life I have been blessed. I hope you are proud of me. I want to be a blessing to others and to my country. I am having the time of my life yet at times face challenges in fighting for a cause like that crying boy, Kian delos Santos, human rights, and other worthy issues. The lessons of the pain brought by your death gave me courage to carry on this fight.

When the going gets rough, I just tell myself, “You can get through this. You have gone through worse. This pain is nothing compared to losing Luijoe”.

So that is how life has been, my Luijoe. Your death gave me courage to continue to fight what is right, that wherever there is life there is hope.

I miss you so much right here where I belong.

I miss for the loss of what a handsome man you would have become (almost 28 years old now, but instead you are forever six years old.).

luijoe at the cemetery

I miss the loss of the life I would have if you were here.

I miss those times you would point to that lovely blue and white house where you promised to build one for me in the future. Now that I think of it, this house you promised will come forth in eternal life, when we meet again.

 For the past 17 years, visiting the cemetery, bringing bouquet and honoring your life is what we can only do.

I will soon be there by your resting place , with a bunch of flowers and a note etched in my heart “I love you so very much, Luijoe”.


wounded bird syndromeThey say marriage is for better or for worse. Couples try to support and care for each other, through good times and bad. Usually, when one of us hits rock bottom, the other can try to be the mainstay for a little while, to help the other along. But what happens when our child dies? The couple is now cast into the same dark place, struggling with the worst thing they have ever faced. Couples are there together, but they may discover that they are also there alone.

Listen to the podcast

Now not all couples in grief experience this dilemma. I believe that marriages with “wounded bird syndrome” suffer the most. What is the “wounded bird syndrome”?

Many times a nurturer will marry a wounded bird who is extremely dependent. They need their spouse to fulfill their every need. As a result, it puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. The person who is the nurturer feels as if the weight of the relationship is upon them and they feel smothered. The wounded bird is frustrated with the nurturer because they never can take care of every need that they have. What the wounded bird is trying to do is to have their needs met by someone who is not able to meet them.

A wounded bird in grief will seek someone to fulfill this unmet need.

I never knew what this meant until I got a text message one day from Cecile (names and events are changed to protect their identities). She asked “How can I tell Peter,my boyfriend to move on without being insensitive?” Then Cecile and I talked on the landline phone. She explained that her boyfriend lost his 5 year old daughter , Samantha in a car accident over 6 months ago. Not that I am nosy or anything like that, I asked if she was the mother of the girl.

“No. Peter and his wife were already separated a year before the accident” Cecile said.

Would it have been rude of me to ask: “Where’s the proof they are separated?” I just treated Cecile as a support system to Peter. For the next three months, Cecile and I were in contact. She wanted to comfort her boyfriend in his most difficult moment. Knowing how important support is, I gave tips on Handling the Bereaved. Then one day, a friend asked me to help a bereaved mother.

My friend said “Emma lost her 5 year old daughter to a car accident a few months ago. Can you talk to her? “.

DING-DONG. Something rang inside my mind.

I asked my friend “Is Samantha the name of her daughter who died on May 13, 2005?”

My friend affirmed.

What a small word our grief circle is!

The succeeding text messages infuriated me. I felt like a fool. I found out that Emma and Peter are very much married.

I immediately texted Cecile and confronted her about this revelation.

Cecile pleaded “Please don’t mention we talked”

I shouldn’t have given advice to Cecile in the first place. She used Peter’s grief to her advantage so they could get close and continue their trysts. Like a wounded bird, Cecile nurtured Peter with the grief support I provided. I was so mad.

I met up with Emma finally. I wanted to tell her about her husband’s girlfriend. A couple’s grief gets even more complicated with a third party. I waited for the right opportunity and allowed her to unload her thoughts and feelings. I found out that she knew about the existence of the girl even prior to Samantha’s death. As far as she knew, that relationship ended. I felt that I could not continue talking to Emma until I revealed the truth. I felt like a hypocrite if I withheld that tidbit.

I released the bombshell.

Emma’s face crumpled.

I wanted to cry when I saw her pained expression.

I thought she would kill me with this revelation but thank goodness she was full of gratitude.

I told her that she is not alone with the wounded bird syndrome. Another bereaved mother experienced the same situation with a “girl friend” of her spouse. What helped the couple was the knowledge that couples grieve differently. The Compassionate Friends, helped with this revelation. The spouse found comfort and strength in talking to other parents who have battled through similar difficulties and survived them. There is hope in Emma and Peter’s marriage. I introduced her to Angie, the bereaved mother who almost lost her spouse to a cunning girlfriend.

It is often said that a relationship is like a dance: we have to find a tempo that works for us both, but then each of has our own steps. Grieving will probably intensify our awareness of each other and our sense of ‘together yet alone’. The need to remember our child and to share memories will always be there. But our lives do continue, and the insights into our relationship that have been so painfully discovered as we grieve may enrich our partnership in the years ahead.

It’s that time of the year that I declutter my home. The library which is located in my home office is often filled with books because my family members are book lovers. As I reviewed the books on the top shelf, I screamed with delight upon discovering my son’s yearbook in Family Montessori Katipunan , his first school. I thought I had lost his yearbook after moving homes in 2007. I thought “there must be a message here”. I quickly leafed through the pages and found his handsome photo.

luijoe in yearbook

I could see that parents submitted anecdotes about their child. I could not help tearing and smiling at the same time. My heart tied in a knot as I read the last part.

luijoe's yearbook1

He is a very energetic child in spite of his asthma. His favourite past time is reading (pretending to) his books, playing with his Lego blocks, writing in workbooks, running around the house and driving his sisters crazy. When he is in a good mood, he likes to kiss everyone. He always wants to be loved. However, when he is scolded, which he hates, he says “I am a good boy!” with much conviction.

Come to think of it, children are born without any baggages. Children are good. It is adults that give them the bad habits. Parents help shape their thoughts and habits in their early years. When I wrote this anecdote, Luijoe was only 4 years old. True, Luijoe was a good boy.

Listen to this podcast

It occurred to me that Luijoe taught me a lot about parenting. Luijoe did not mince words when he found something wrong with my parenting style. I am sure most of you have learned some important lessons from your children. I would like to share some of these poignant memories from my son.

1. Patience, mom

One of the important skills that all parents need to learned is how to be patient.

There were times my son wanted to get his way and he would cry when I refused. When I tell him to stop his crying spells, he’d raise his hands like a STOP sign “Mom. give me time to stop crying. I need more time to stop”.

That really gave me an insight that kids do not automatically stop crying like one would shut off the faucet.

2. Breastfeeding is good for babies

I still remember my son tugging at my sleeve “Mom, did you do that to me?”

He led me to the room where Maan, his former yaya was breastfeeding her son.

“Of course, I breastfed you.” I hugged my boy.

“Are you sure mom? Breastfeeding is good for babies.”

My son didn’t seem to believe me. Too bad I didn’t have photos of our breastfeeding moments. I pointed out the cross stitching projects in the kitchen .

I explained “When I breastfed you, I did cross stitch projects because it took you an hour to feed.” He seemed satisfied with my answer but the next day, he nagged me with the same question.

Luijoe’s fascination with breastfeeding inspired me to start my breastfeeding advocacy in 2007.

3. Don’t spank

My son once berated me for spanking him, “mom you should not spank”. I wanted to hit myself. I did not know any better. My parents brought me up, that spanking is a form of discipline. I turned to using another style “Face the corner” . He did not like it either but I had set rules that needed to be followed. Luijoe’s words haunted me through the years which probably moved me to pursue Children rights and eventually push for The Positive Discipline in Lieu of Corporal Punishment of Children Act of 2011.

4. Take time to smell the flowers 


Flowers remind me to let go of work. Luijoe reminds me that I need to smell the flowers. I smile at the sweet memories, of his hugs which came with a bunch of flowers as a surprise. “I love you so very much, Mama,” he’d cry out. Remembering all these often bring tears to my eyes. The flowers he picked often came from our garden or the park. It is a bittersweet memory. I wish I could turn back the clock and hear him say “I love you so very much, Mama,” over and over again. Maybe it is one reason, I often deluge my home with fresh flowers.

5. Pray , mom

My son is very prayerful. I bought him a Catholic prayer book which we would read every night. I also had my own prayerbook which I shared with him.

Luijoe’s favorite prayer book

One time, Luijoe held my face with his chubby palms, “pray, mom”. I gave him a hug and prayed along with him. Without my Luijoe beside me now, I turned to prayers. I found the power of a praying parent. All I can do now is pray every day. I let go of worrying. It has been said that “worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.” Let go and Let God is my motto.

For many years, I struggled to find the meaning of my son’s death. As memories flow, I am reminded that Luijoe is never really gone. He continues to live in me. There is a lot to accomplish. Luijoe reminds me of the bigger work that God has set out for me in this world…declutter the mess.

stjohn.jpgWhen a child dies, it’s not the natural order of things. For many years, I struggled to find the meaning of my son’s death. Five years and a lot of pain later, I finally found the answers. It all started with an email to Cathy after I invited her to join as co-founder for the Compassionate Friends Philippines.I have to mention that this support group is not around anymore,  but I continue to offer comfort in my blog.

Listen to my podcast:

She replied and readily agreed to join. What struck me was her statement:

I now know that we are called to serve in different ways because we have different missions. Setting up Compassionate Friends in the Philippines is clearly yours as Migi’s Corner and Grief counselling and death education are mine.

How could that be? If I wanted a mission, a foundation seems a more noble idea. “The Compassionate Friends” is not an original idea. So there I was thinking, Alma, Cathy and Pia initiated foundations all in the memory of their children. I don’t have any memorial or foundation in Luijoe’s name. I felt a bit sad, but Cathy’s words stuck in my mind for many days until I remembered a conversation with my son during Holy Week.

The actual picture that Luijoe pointed out in his prayerbook

This is what I wrote in Luijoe’s memorial site almost 21 years ago:

Then one night while we had our usual prayers before bedtime, he pointed to the picture of St. John the Apostle which was found in his Rosary Prayer book. I explained that Jesus told John to take care and comfort his mother when he dies. Luijoe seemed to be touched by St. John and the following nights, he kept repeating the same question and this time he was asking how John was related to Mother Mary. I found that to be a very deep question, and I just said he was one of Jesus’ apostle.

Now I realized the meaning. It was like Luijoe was making sure I would remember John. I did remember our conversation during the wake .It touched my heart that my son was worried about my grief.

I realized Luijoe wanted me to carry on the comfort to others. The St. John symbolizes compassion. By working with The Compassionate Friends, I would act like a “St. John” to other bereaved parents. This memory brought tears of joy and nostalgia. Even if I am no longer around in this mortal world, this grief support group will still continue on. Truly, God works in mysterious ways and He uses our children to help us find and shape our ministries. It is our children who remind us of the bigger work that God has set out for us in this world.

I wrote this post a long time ago when I was still active with “The Compassionate Friends”. But I continue to talk to parents who have lost a child through my blog and sharing this podcast. My son never let me forget that there are many “St. Johns” in my life. Today, Good Friday reminds me Luijoe is never entirely gone

Luijoe is never entirely gone.

Luijoe’s favorite prayer book

After years of denial, numbing feelings of pain and all sorts of emotions, I finally came true to myself. I learned to take care of myself emotionally through practice and learning new behavioral patterns like Acting as if. I forced myself into positive recovery behaviors, disregarding my doubts and fears, until my feelings caught up with reality. I am still a work in progress, of course.

So what does it mean to take care of myself emotionally. This is what I learned from reading self-help books and seeking guidance.

1. I recognize when I’m feeling angry, and I accept that feeling without shame.

2. I recognize when I’m feeling hurt, and I accept those feelings without attempting to punish the source of my pain.

3. I allow myself to feel joy and love when those are available to me.

4. I recognize that my feelings don’t have to control me. I can feel and think too.

5. I talk to friends or family members about my feelings when I feel that it is appropriate and safe to do so.

6. I reach out for help when I get stuck in a particular emotion.

7. I try to seek the lessons that my emotions may be trying to teach me. Then after I feel, accept and release the feeling to the air, I then ask myself, “What is it I need to do to take care of myself?”

Taking care of my emotions means I allow myself to stay with the feeling until it’s time to let go and move on to the next feeling. Taking care of myself means I’ve made a decision that it is okay to own my feelings.

So my dear friend, continue to take care of yourself emotionally. It’s okay to feel angry. You have the right to be. Just be open to and accepting of the emotional part of yourself and other people. Strive for balance by mixing emotions and reason, but don’t let your intellect push the emotional part of yourself away.

Taking care of yourself emotionally means you value and cherish the emotional part of yourself. I know you will be fine. We will be fine.

Stress less.

You can listen to this podcast at

Finding my new normal after a loss of a child was something I figured out along the way. Being a blogger is my new normal because I would not have blogged about my recovery if I didn’t have my stories of hope.

The last few days took my breath away. Nothing can ever prepare me whenever triggers of my loved ones’ memories hit me. I have never spoken of the 5 deaths in my family in a span of one hour. Truly, the death of my loved ones shifted the whole foundation of my life. Nothing is as it was.

One effect of losing a loved one especially if death is sudden and unexpected, is that we become newly aware of fragility of life. In the early years of my grief journey… I had this frame of mind. If this tragedy can befall me, what next? It made me fearful and almost paranoid. A mom whose daughter was killed in an auto accident tells me she cannot bear to have her other children come home later than she expected Text me if you’re going to be late. Even 10 minutes. She tells her.

Our security in this world is threatened. Our inner lives are in turmoil. Following the patterns of the day gave me some sense of order so that I will not break apart. I tend to be such a neat freak too. Yet, I recognize that these are primal and irrational fears but the loss I have gone through are not rational, either.

In time, I had the energy and courage to cope with the change. Learning to live a new normal is like learning a new language, a new way of seeing. In a way, I entered a new country. Though the terrain looks very much the same and many of the people are the same people, there is a different light over everything.

Remember how long it took when you moved into your new home or a new town, for it to seem like home? It is the same with a major life change. I had to get used to this new land, this new arrangement of people and relationships. It took time–time to look around, to be surprised, to be brought up short, over and over again. An inner tug of protest inside where I finally acknowledged ….Oh yes, it is different now.

This is my new normal. It is a blessing.

A year ago, my daughter shared me an article “Self help: try positive action, not positive thinking”

The self-help industry is mired in ideas about positive thinking that are at best ineffective and at worst destructive. If you want to be more confident or successful, says Richard Wiseman, the best thing to do is act the part

I have always believed positive thoughts should not end there but placed into action.

“Acting as if” is one of my favorite recovery tool that worked for me. By acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person, what I call the “As If” principle. To practice the positive, I act as if. It’s a positive form of pretending. It’s a useful tool to use to get ourselves unstuck. For many years after my son died, I isolated from friends . During the rare social gatherings I attended, I forgot how to initiate small talk. I was catatonic who preferred to be invisible amidst the light banter. I bet my friends or relatives felt their were talking to a blank wall. The only persons I socialzed were close family members. I realized the gravity of my people skills when I joined a parent’s group of my daughter’s colllege and I couldn’t say a word. I knew I needed to wake up from my zombie state.

I forced myself into positive recovery behaviors, disregarding my doubts and fears, until my feelings caught up with reality. Acting as if is a positive way to overcome fears, doubts, and low self-esteem. I did not have to lie or be dishonest with myself. It has been seven years since I used the “Acting as if” principle. I believed it worked because it was the only way to get out of the pit.

1. Becoming a media resource person

I acted as if I could speak up in public until I actually gained self- confidence and started to open up. When I started the grief support group, The Compassionate Friends, I was suddenly thrown into the media. The first interview and TV guest appearance terrified me. But how else will my mission get promoted? Acting as if I was confident enabled me to get through with these media exposure.

When I was invited to co-host Ratsada Inquirer shortly after my 55th birthday, I felt unsure if I could make it. I wanted to expand my horizons in order to share my advocacy or my opinions to a larger scale. So I “acted as if” I was confident even if I fumbled in my Tagalog. Acting as if I could be a great co-host, I started with being my usual self and adding a few Tagalog words here and there. I was relieved to get good feedback after the show which inspires me to continue. I constantly practice my speaking voice and Tagalog words.

2. Second wind in marriage

Acting as if also worked for my marriage. At the height of my grief in 2005, my marriage turned rocky to the point I considered separation but an accident forced me to work it out. Long story. Never in my wildest dream did I imagine myself with a broken ankle as I stepped inside my new pad. I had no choice but to live with my husband and work things out. Truly God works in mysterious ways. It was as if God said ” you can’t run away from your marriage. Try to fix it. Give it a second chance”. I acted as if I was back when we were first romantic couples dating in UP Diliman. That involved acting as if I was so romantic and it caught on. My husband probably did his part in acting as if were were steadies again.

“Fake it till you make it” is also called “act as if”. You probably heard this common catchphrase that means to imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, it will generate real confidence. It works.

Now, when a problem haunts me, acting as if can helps me get unstuck. I act as if the problem will be or already is solved so I can go on with my daily routine. Today, I have opened up to the positive possibilities of the future instead of limiting the future by today’s feelings and circumstances.

Here are 10 quick and effective exercises that use the As If principle to transform how you think and behave. Try to make a conscious decision to act as if you feel fine and are going to be fine.

So if someone says to us, by word or by action, “You should be over
that by now,” we can recall the words from the Talmud: “Judge no one before you have been in his place.”

my-childrenWhen people ask how many kids I have, I always say three children and pretty soon, the question goes on details like “are they in school”, “how old are they?” If I am not in the mood, I just say two children because the conversation will always lead to my son’s whereabouts. The moment I say my third child died 10 years ago, I feel a sense of discomfort.

More often than not “you’ve moved on , right?” , or “you found closure already?”

If a well-meaning friend said something inappropriate with respect to Luijoe’s death, I would try to focus on the intent of the comment instead of the comment itself. Maybe, my friend just didn’t know what to say.

Move on. It is just a chapter in the past but don’t close the book, just turn the page. – Unknown
Moving on does not mean closure…

However when they are acquaintances, I find it terribly annoying. The word “closure” carries with it an underlying message of impatience: “OK,” the person appears to be saying, “it’s time to get over it.”

Am I being overly sensitive? Perhaps.

It is not just me though. In meetings with the Compassionate Friends, the word “closure” bothers most parents. The “c word,” seemed to push all our buttons.

It is understandable that our friends feel uneasy in the presence of pain. How they wish they can take away our grief. That’s okay. But bereaved parents resent the implication of failure or self-absorption if one can’t adhere to a recovery schedule.

We do, in our own individual ways, gradually get better at bearing our loss. Mainly, the pain simply softens with the passage of time. Moving on means that we live a new normal never forgetting the love and memories of our beloved.

Ashley Davis Prend says that closure is not for people we love or for feelings.

Closure simply does not exist emotionally, not in a pure sense. We cannot close the door on the past as if it didn’t exist because, after losing someone dear to us, we never forget that person or the love we shared. And in some ways, we never entirely get over the loss. We learn to live with the loss, to integrate it into our new identity.

Imagine if we really could end this chapter in our life, completely. It would mean losing our memories, our connections to those we love. If we really found closure, it would ironically hurt even more because the attachment would be severed. And this attachment is vital to us—the memories are treasures to be held close, not closed out.

Perhaps it is better to think in terms of healing. Yes, we can process our pain and move to deeper and deeper levels of healing. Yes, we can find ways to move on and channel our pain into productive activities. Yes, we can even learn to smile again and laugh again and love again.

I have not closed the door on what my loss meant, for if I did that, I would inadvertently close the door on all the love that Luijoe and I shared. And that would truly be a loss too terrible to bear.

Luijoe meadow somewhere in the North, where his grandparents live today

The Holy Week is one of the most memorable time of the year. Being a “cafeteria Catholic” my religious faith is at best mediocre. Luijoe, my innocent and religious 6 year old son often chastised me for not praying hard enough .


Painting on the wall of Church of Holy Sacrifice, UP Campus

I felt like a terrible mother who led a ho-hum religious existence. Gosh, we learn so much from our children , don’t we? It is the Holy Week which reminds me of my son. The image of the dying Jesus when he blurted out  “Woman, behold thy son, Behold thy mother” struck a chord in my son’s heart.

Luijoe photo taken at Luijoe meadow during Holy Week 2000

Every night, Luijoe pointed to that image asking me over and over again what it meant. He pointed to John the Beloved “Who is he? How is he related to the Mother of Jesus?” Strange he asked about John. I cuddled Luijoe in my arms and explained that the dying Jesus wanted John the Beloved to take care of his grieving mother. How was I to know that my own son would die the following weeks? During the funeral, I remember those last words and took it literally to mean that my family or my friends would take care of me in my bereavement, that there would be “John the Beloved” who will help me.

luijoe meadow

When a death as devastating as the loss of a child hits you, one tries to find meaning. One tries to make sense out of it. The time came when I realized that those last words were not about me. It was about me helping those who are in pain , because the grief journey is not easy. My son made sure that I would not be alone in this journey as long as I continue to help others. He made sure I remember to be the “John the Beloved” and be compassionate to other people’s pain.

luijoe meadow1

I look back and reflect on that poignant scene. It is my son’s way of reminding me that I will find comfort and still be a comfort to others:

He who was nailed to the cross, wanted to spare His mother further pain, not only for that moment, but for her entire future. He put her in the care of the apostle whom ““He loved” and whom He knew would care for her in return. Even as Jesus was dying, He went beyond himself to addresses someone else’s need.

Luijoe meadow at night, taken by Sean, my brother-in-law 2010 Christmas day

The Seven Last Words remind me of my son who died so young yet I know he continues to live in me through my work, my actions and devotion. Luijoe is with me everyday.

Here is something soothing:
Mozart Ave Verum Corpus por Leonard Bernstein

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw

social media week
I caught the George Bernard Shaw quote a few days ago and it made me reflect back on my life. It is almost 16 years that my son passed away.

I do not recognize myself from the person I was in the past. I am more confident. I appreciate myself more. I have a new life, helping bereaved parents through the Compassionate friends , blogging and advocating social change for social good.  I am having the time of my life and feeling beautiful, loved and being loving.

I was a full time mother from 1987 till 2005 where I stayed home most of the time. Though I am proud to be a mom, I knew I was more than just a mother after finding myself in an empty nest. The desire to do more started when the kids went to college. There was this inner desire to provide public service like my father did.

In losing my son, I was meant to bring out my service oriented nature to other bereaved parents and the nation. Not that it had to take a death to push me there. I had to seek the meaning of life, and why I outlived my son. It brought my dormant talents of organizing and initiating service oriented projects (,,, Philippine Blog Awards)

me and Te Amo Floristeria

I did not find myself. I had to go beyond my comfort zone, innovating myself, doing things that were not the old me.

Writing is not one of my talents. I had to learn to write creatively for the blog. I promoted my grief recovery blog not knowing that this was the start of my NEW NORMAL. I am now in online publishing and using this to bring awareness to my advocacy. Aside from grief recovery, I embarked into citizen media for voters education , and as a features editor for Philippine Online Chronicles. Me, an editor? From a homemaker , I am now thrust to a whole new world of media. Never in my wildest dream did I imagine I would be on TV, newspaper, radio, magazine as a resource person for grief, then later in blogging. Blogging gave me new friends, reconnected with old friendships, brought me to travel places. It taught me to be more confident.

I am happier. My son’s life ended too soon but I had to experience this pain and learn to go out of my comfort zone and reach out to others. That is the meaning of life I had to discover for myself.

It took me a long time to realize that grief is inevitable and that misery is optional.

What does do good is doing good. I decided to lead the second part of my life differently and better than I would have imagined “in the name of my son, Luijoe. I know that as I reach out to bereaved parents through The Compassionate Friends”, the world is changed in some small way for the better, and then the actions taken become my living tribute to my son. And then Luijoe is never entirely gone.

Life is good.

digital marketing future of media